LibriVox recording of Fantômas, by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre. Read by Alan Winterrowd.
Fantômas is the first of 32 novels penned from 1911 to 1913 by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre. The title character is a ruthless thief and killer, a bloodthirsty successor to LeBlanc's Arsène Lupin. The first five novels were made into silent film serials. The character and the movies caught the eye of the French Surrealists who admired the primal violence of Fantômas, as well as his portrayal in the films, which are considered landmarks in French Cinema. In Fantômas, the Marquise de Langrune is savagely murdered and Inspector Juve, who is obsessed with capturing Fantômas, arrives to solve the murder. (Summary by Alan Winterrowd)
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People think he's a genius, because he can explain how Fantomas got away with things, He, however, would actually like to catch Fantomas, so he seems to spend his entire life in the throes of frsutration.
Well read. Characters are very distinct.
The plot takes a while to get going, but its because the author is assembling the shorthand of tropes which will be usedi n later detective fiction.
July 15, 2011 Subject:
This book is painful
Young Charles is framed for the murder of the Marquis, and even his own father believes he is guilty. Inspector Juve appears on the scene and takes it all in. His verdict? The killer is none other than Fantomas, the sociopathic killer that Juve has spent much time tracking.
I found the books to be predictable. I figured out who Fantomas was impersonating, and the ending was awful, IMHO. Yes, it fit, but man, it's a major turnoff. I haven't decided if I will continue to listen to or read the other books in the series, and there are quite a number of them.
The reader did an excellent job; so my compliments there. I just couldn't get past the painful spots at the end. Ugh.
Fantômas's criminal exploits and his pursuit by Juve make for an entertaining read, but the characters do not have the brilliance of Sherlock Holmes nor the humor of Arsene Lupin. Although the characters are not so deep, the plot twists so much that even when I thought I knew the identity of Fantômas, there were still several more surprises. Fantômas belongs in the middle ground between the pulps and the great classics of the crime genre.